Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Comes Out for Marriage Equality

Tim_johnsonSenator Tim Johnson has come out for marriage equality in a statement to the Argus Leader:

"After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation. This position doesn't require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom."

Johnson had previous opposed same-sex marriage.

His endorsement followed that of two colleagues on Friday: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. Fifty-four U.S. senators now endorse same-sex marriage. Only three Democratic senators do not: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin (D-WV) is the only one to have not made a recent statement since the groundswell of support began for marriage equality late last month.

Landrieu said last week that she personally supports it but won't back it publicly since her voters don't, and Pryor said over the weekend that he was "undecided".

Comments

  1. RONTEX says

    This is pretty unbelievable, the pace at which our civil rights are being championed. And to those who complain that it’s politically motivated, who the hell cares? We need all of this support and more to win this battle once and for all.

  2. Joel says

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, RONTEX. I don’t care *why* they support marriage equality now–I just care that they do. I think it’s worth remembering the leaders who were on our side before it was politically expedient to do so, but even these latecomers deserve some measure of applause.

  3. will says

    Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gau marriage to re-elect them. Period.

  4. andrew says

    Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

  5. andrew says

    Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

  6. will says

    Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gay marriage enough to re-elect them. Period.

  7. andrew says

    Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

  8. will says

    Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gay marriage enough to re-elect them. Period.

  9. Francis #1 says

    No, there’s no point in applauding people who are using us. I mean, the support is nice. It’s also meaningless. There isn’t going to be any legislation on DOMA and you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of these politicians, who months ago were against marriage equality before magically now being for it within less than a year, will not touch this issue politically and aren’t galvanized about marriage equality and gay rights. Say it now when you’re in a safe position, either having been reelected or 1+ years before you’re up for reelection. Look at the numbers and see if saying you’re for marriage equality is a + for you politically. For Democrats and moderate Republicans, for the most part, it is, so that’s what they’re doing.

    The power of these announcements have long died. Actions speak louder than words.

  10. Francis #1 says

    No, there’s no point in applauding people who are using us. I mean, the support is nice. It’s also meaningless. There isn’t going to be any legislation on DOMA and you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of these politicians, who months ago were against marriage equality before magically now being for it within less than a year, will not touch this issue politically and aren’t galvanized about marriage equality and gay rights. Say it now when you’re in a safe position, either having been reelected or 1+ years before you’re up for reelection. Look at the numbers and see if saying you’re for marriage equality is a + for you politically. For Democrats and moderate Republicans, for the most part, it is, so that’s what they’re doing.

    The power of these announcements has long died. Actions speak louder than words.

  11. andrew says

    Thank you Senator Johnson. However, he has taken no political risk since he has already announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. However if you want to give the Republicans three Senate seats, keep the pressure on Landrieu of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. They won’t survive a public announcement of support for gay marriage in those very red states.

  12. andrew says

    Thank you Senator Johnson. However, he has taken no political risk since he has already announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. However if you want to give the Republicans three Senate seats, keep the pressure on Landrieu of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. They won’t survive a public announcement of support for gay marriage in those very red states.

  13. Francis #1 says

    Sorry for the double post, but yeah. These announcements don’t mean much anymore. It would mean more if it were done out of the goodness of their hearts but we all know it isn’t. So it’s basically doing the bare minimum. Say “I’m for gay marriage, I’ve evolved” in a short statement on FB or to a local reporter, and that’s it. It’s almost a slap in the face.

  14. Sean says

    @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I’d rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

  15. Sean says

    @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I’d rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

  16. Sean says

    @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I’d rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

  17. William says

    Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act.” livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

  18. William says

    Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act.”

  19. William says

    Sorry for the quadruple post. -_- There’s a weird dialogue box that appears after pressing post that makes it seem like the comment couldn’t be posted. It happened to me on both Firefox and Safari.

  20. says

    It doesn’t matter if he’s taking a political risk or not. Either way, it keeps the momentum going for our side and furthers the impression that marriage equality is inevitable, which it is. Applauding each new person is, yes, and way of thanking them–whatever their motives–but it mostly makes good political sense. As for the remaining Dem’s, they’re big boys and girls who can evaluate the pressure and make their own decisions. If they’re incapable of doing that, they’re unfit for office.

  21. Paul R says

    This support is being enforced by the party leadership, yet we still shouldn’t be complaining about it. A vote is a vote. More than 50 Dems. All of 2 Republicans. Landrieu should be ashamed—as though SD and MO and many other states where this has happened are so liberal.

  22. Paul R says

    This support is being enforced by the party leadership, yet we still shouldn’t be complaining about it. A vote is a vote. More than 50 Dems. All of 2 Republicans. Landrieu should be ashamed—as though SD and MO and many other states where this has happened are so liberal.

  23. Paul R says

    This support is being enforced by the party leadership, yet we still shouldn’t be complaining about it. A vote is a vote. More than 50 Dems. All of 2 Republicans. Landrieu should be ashamed—as though SD and MO and many other states where this has happened are so liberal.

  24. Paul R says

    This support is being enforced by the party leadership, yet we still shouldn’t be complaining about it. A vote is a vote. More than 50 Dems. All of 2 Republicans. Landrieu should be ashamed—as though SD and MO and many other states where this has happened are so liberal.

  25. mic says

    To not understand the difference between a ‘Suspect class’ being discriminated against and citing ‘ Rational basis’ for continuing to deny us gay marriage is at our own peril.

    We cannot applaud this sudden waterfall of politicians jumping over their own rhetoric. It is callously being done in order to weaken our standing before SCOTUS , not strengthen it.

    The more political supporters ‘we’ have, the more likely Scalia et al will rule that we are NOT POLITICALLY POWERLESS, and therefore Rational Basis of Discrimination against us can continue…with Scalia bleating at us all: “You don’t need protection from discrimination…look at all the Politicians on BOTH SIDES of the aisle you have. Go back to ypur states and win this one by one…”

    In other words; The more the Pols ‘comeout for gay marriage’ the less likely DOMA will be repealed AND prop 8 sturck down for California…only.

    Wake up.

  26. says

    Sorry @Mic, don’t buy that argument: the tide of support could just as easily influence the SC Judges–if they’re to be influenced at all–to not want to be on the wrong side of history, and it doesn’t change the historical animus against gay people. Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional no matter how you slice it, and a broad decision in Prop 8 was always iffy at best. The Democrats (and count-em-on-one-hand Republicans) coming out in favor of equality are certainly doing so with their own political lives in mind but it’s very far-fetched to think they’re doing it keep DOMA in place. (You can’t “win” DOMA in the states.)

    Should we start to demand more anti-gay rhetoric from Washington to maintain our politically powerless status?

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